On my IELTS -Speaking Test   last 5th November in George Town, Penang, one of the topics that we randomly talked about was ‘weekends.’  The stunningly beautiful British lady-assessor asked me, “How do you spend your weekends?”  ….”What are your plans on the coming weekend?”
Nothing has changed. My answers remain the same.
Part of the Christmas decorations of Prangin Mall, in Komtar, George Town, Penang. Reminds me of one of our family's favorite movies, the 2009 animated love story of Carl and Ellie and the Wilderness explorer, Russell.

Because my wife and I work from Monday to Friday and our son, Gabby goes to school 5 days a week too, weekends for us are remarkably priceless!

I consider myself  lucky and blessed compared to other expats and OFWs because I have my family with me.  Thus, my weekends are special because I get to celebrate it with Tina and Gabby.

Almost every Friday night, simple things such as dining together and watching TV shows or movies at home define the start of our weekend break.  Restful sleep follows with the thought that there’s no need to wake up as early as 30 minutes before 5 in the morning because there are no clothes to iron, food to prepare and Rapid Penang bus number 601 to catch, all done in a rush (these are true for Tina and Gabby but as for me, I allow them to enjoy sleeping and curl up in bed until late Saturday morning so I designated myself  responsible in going to public market which is a couple of minute-one-bus-ride-away from our place.  And I chose to do it before the clock hits half hour past 6 every weekend morning. No complaints otherwise we won’t have a thing on our table for the next week; besides, it has been a habit).  We always look forward to every weekend because of all this.

After such personal weekend ceremony, we either hit the roads to catch the bus, hop on the ferry to reach George Town and its malls, museums and whatnot, or spend lazy hours at home with food, TV shows, movies to ourselves.

With or without conscious efforts, Tina, Gabby and I usually have varied forms of family bonding during Saturdays and Sundays. And last weekend was another fun…

The most celebrated season is for kids and kids at heart.

Seeing these Christmas-related displays in one of the malls in Pulau Pinang confirmed that there’s no stopping the season. Even a predominantly Muslim Malaysian state respects and allows Christians to celebrate the commemoration of birth of Jesus.

These are the holiday decors of Prangin Mall in George Town. The simple and non-intimidating mall is standing side-by-side with the tallest building in the island, Komtar. How does it look like?  It’s unique but it reminds me of Isettan Recto, Ever, Manuela (Star Mall) back home. In the words of my in-law, “masang-masa!”

Regardless whether Prangin Mall is jologs or not, its Christmas cheers made Gabby excited for a moment and happy! 🙂

His happiness continued as we eat lunch in the fast food that he requested…
One of Gabby's simple pleasures : Happy Meal Toy
Although there were hassles in between like, Tina and Gabby forgot to bring their cellphones, so it took me a while to look for them when I went to the ATM machine, and when I tried to remit to my brother in Pinas, I failed to do the transaction via Moneygram for their system was offline at the moment, thankfully still, the family’s main agenda were fulfilled. Last Saturday was all about movies and TV shows. We had movie and TV show-marathons inside a mall and at home.
From McDonald’s Happy Meal toy, the fun went on to First Avenue Mall (across Prangin Mall in George Town) cinemas. First movie was what else but Puss in Boots…
Verdict : Entertaining.  A famous fairytale, Jack and the Beanstalk complete with that gold pooper-duck and her mommy giant duck is incorporated to the story of this animated furry character that sprung from Shrek movie series; Puss in Boots’ heroic and fraternal acts and motherly love are something to watch for.
 With an hour gap, we transferred movie house in the same mall to watch…
Verdict :  OK lah however, I expected more vampire vs wolves encounters but what we got was cheesy honeymoon scenes that made Gabby cover his eyes with his hands without peeping.  We don’t read its books so we’re clueless about the saga. Nonetheless, like Harry Potter movies that stretched to a decade of following from us, and so did Pirates of the Carribean and Narnia chronicles, we felt a little obliged to watch it since it became a part of our movie-going history. The Brazilian paradise-venue for Edward-Bella honeymoon was a refreshing though.
Have you watched these movies? How did they appeal to you?
At home, after that movie date with Tina and Gabby, our eyes were glued to the TV series we follow.

“A mouth-watering dramatic musical TV series packed with hit songs, delicious recipes and vibrant choreography, set in a fast-paced and cut-throat world of culinary arts. Taking place in The Avilon, a famous restaurant, The Kitchen Musical is a story about Maddie, a rich, young girl straight out of Le Cordon Bleu, Paris, and her journey of self-discovery. Despite being the daughter of the restaurant owner, Maddie chooses to get the support of her colleagues by winning their trust. Featuring Pop Idol and Star In A Million finalist, Christian Bautista, as sous chef Daniel.

The Kitchen Musical is 100% Hot & Spicy!”  text and photo sourced from AXN’s  The Kitchen Musical

It’s a delight for a Filipino family like us living few miles away from Pinas to see Filipino talents on a Pan-Asian musical series (READ : Malaysia’s not covered by TFC (The Filipino Channel) thus we rely only on live streaming websites for TV shows and movies from Pinas).  Although they have varied accents that for some may be disturbing, we consider it part of entertainment. I personally like the genuine artistry of its musical director and arranger, Gerard Salonga who managed tocreatively infused amazing songs from different musical genres to the delicious flavors and fascinating scenes this show have been offering.
Sunday was about Gabby’s cartoons from SpongeBob Squarepants, Little Einstein, Mickey Mouse Playhouse, Mr. Bean and others. And since we only have one LCD TV, we usually take turn in watching our favorites.
Another show that defines our weekend is The Amazing Race. Seldom we catch its primetime screening on weekdays because of preparation for the coming work days, so we make up for its episode reruns every Saturday and Sunday.  The adrenaline rush while traveling and competing makes this reality show a sure hit that’s difficult to miss.
Tina, Gabby and I also follow another reality show but uniquely inclined to culinary. It’s on Asian Food Channel (AFC) by E&O (Eastern & Oriental Hotel in Penang) Next Celebrity Chef where some of its contestants are recruits from the Philippines.
Those shows, movies and a lot more in between had occupied our hours of family bonding last weekend.
There are so much reasons to anticipate and look forward to another weekend!
And (as I write this) did I tell you that we’re still enjoying a long weekend, because today, Monday is a holiday here in Malaysia?  🙂
Gabby and I continue to have fun by playing this simple toy I bought fro less than 2 ringgit (less than PhP 14) in the public market last Saturday…
Pick Up Sticks : Guess who's winning?
How’s your weekend?

24 thoughts on “THE WEEKEND THAT WAS

    1. fruit shakes, we like too!
      you’re right, sheng! gabby’s far better than the one who taught him play pick up sticks. ang husay nya! 🙂

      off topic : hey, congratulations to you and your blog for being philippine blog awards -mindanao 2011 best personal blog! …well-deserved, sheng!
      more inspiring posts to come…

  1. Despite having a busy weekend myself – all that Thanksgiving dinners stretching to Sunday! – I made sure I was home to watch The Amazing Race. Been watching this series since 2001 Doc Gelo!

    I suppose you subscribe to ABS-CBN’s online “TFC Now” . There’s TFC & GMA that’s bundled with cable subscription in NYC but I chose not to add it on since I prefer the convenience of managing the time I want to watch them – via Internet.

    1. have you ever considered auditioning for the amazing race, dennis?
      with your VAST experiences in traveling the globe, it’s not a far possibility, right? 🙂

      1. I don’t think it’s for me – despite the big prize – the pace is just too stressful, it’s like a blur of sights & experiences since teams only stay there for less than 24 hours!

  2. gusto ko rin ang amazing race doc. minsan iniimagine ko what if sumali ako, kakayanin ko kaya? hehe!

    i miss pick up sticks. would you believe my sister has pick up sticks in her ipad? NO excitement. hehe!

  3. doc, ang dami niyong ginagawa! imagine 2 movies in a day. i cant even have1 movie in 2 weeks. hehe. lamo, swerte ni gabby.. ang dami niyong bonding time. noong araw kasi, hindi uso sa amin yung mga bonding bonding at outing outing. hehe. basta nasa bahay lang. hehe.

    at di mo naitatanong, magaling ako sa pick up sticks! hehe

  4. ngayon ko lang nalaman na nagtatrabaho na rin pala si Tina. nahuhuli na ata ako sa balita. kakatuwa yung breaking dawn… yung unang movie lang sa series ko pinanood yan at ganun din expectation ko kaya di ko pinanood yung sumunod.

  5. Same here. Basta weekend, family bonding with my mag-ina. Ang wala lang sa amin dito are movie theaters kaya “rides” and mall hopping lang kami. And my daughter also collect Mac toys too. She’s been collecting it since 3yrs old.

  6. Congrats Doc for being a family man hehehe, ka-pederasyon ka na ng asawa ko hahaha, every weekend nasa galaan din kami but we miss watching movies in theatres na, ang mahal kasi ng sine dito e hehehe, we usually watch movies online or buy blu-ray disc or 3D na lang (pero yun mga collectible movies lang) the rest online na lang or download na lang kami ng libre 😉

    doc ngayon ko lang napost yun niagara falls ko sa Canada side 😉

  7. you really know how to destress during the weekend. 2 movies in one day hah! i haven’t done that in years.

    i went to the movies too – to HUGO. you should see this family-oriented film. i’m sure gabby would enjoy it.

    if i had my way i’d choose breaking dawn, but it’s the hubby’s b/day so he got to choose the movie, i have no regrets though.

  8. My weekend? well it’s the same as always. I guess it has been a routine.

    Anyway, love the first picture of this entry. Thumbs up to The Amazing Race, Puss in Boot and the Pick-up Sticks. And no, I don’t have a kid lols

  9. Bigla ko ring naalala yung movie na ‘Up’ sa first photo. We have watched Puss in Boots few days ago and really liked it, being a cat person. But due to censorship, it was titled ‘Cat in Boots’. 😉

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